Skoda’s Scala hatch was an award-winning new car, and its wide range of talents continues to be a draw on the used market

android, used skoda scala (mk1 2019 to date) review

Verdict

When the Scala arrived in summer 2019, it immediately went to the top of its class, and we named it our Compact Family Car of the Year in our New Car Awards, so we weren’t surprised when it beat the Golf and Kia Ceed in its first group test.

At the time we said: “It proves itself here against the Golf by being just as good to drive, yet also more economical, more practical and more affordable.” Any car that can topple the Golf has to be special.

Within a month the Scala also trumped the Ford Focus and Honda Civic, when we said: “The Scala wins because it has the widest range of ability, and it’s also the best value for money. It’s comfortable and easy to drive, yet it’s also composed enough.”

Ever since it became part of the Volkswagen Group, Skoda has produced hit after hit. So when it launched the Scala in 2019, we hoped that it would bring something very appealing to the compact family car class: an affordable, practical car that offered an easy ownership proposition.

We weren’t disappointed, because it’s all of those things, and we discovered the proof when we ran one on our test fleet in 2020. After more than 11,000 miles in a 1.5 TSI edition, we loved its roomy cabin, punchy engine, exterior design, the quality of the fit and finish, and the lengthy list of standard equipment. The infotainment software and hesitant automatic transmission impressed less, but on balance, this still proved to be one of the best small family cars out there.

android, used skoda scala (mk1 2019 to date) review

History

The Scala went on sale in March 2019. Buyers could choose between 1.0 TSI and 1.5 TSI petrol engines, with the former coming in 94bhp and 109bhp forms; all versions of the latter were rated at 148bhp. For those who preferred diesel, a 114bhp 1.6 TDI engine was offered, but few chose it.

The early trim levels were S, SE and SE L, but in 2020 a Monte Carlo edition joined the range, with 18-inch alloys, panoramic roof, a diffuser and spoiler at the rear, plus a reprofiled front bumper. The fleet-friendly Scala SE Technology arrived later in 2020, initially in 1.5 TSI form with a choice of manual or DSG automatic gearboxes; a 1.0 TSI option followed soon after.

Which one?

The entry-level 94bhp 1.0 TSI isn’t very rapid, but it sits at motorway speeds happily enough. The more powerful engines make lighter work of longer journeys, so we’d be inclined to go for one of those. The manual and automatic transmissions are generally enjoyable to use, so it’s just a question of personal preference there.

The basic Scala S is very rare and comes with 16-inch alloys, air-con, LED headlights, a 6.5-inch touchscreen display, Bluetooth and DAB. The SE adds a multi-function steering wheel, rear parking sensors, cruise control, automatic headlights and wipers, an eight-inch display, a height-adjustable front passenger seat, upgraded interior trim and Apple CarPlay plus Android Auto.

The SE L also has electrically folding door mirrors, privacy glass, dual-zone climate control, navigation, digital instrumentation, 17-inch alloys and microsuede trim.

android, used skoda scala (mk1 2019 to date) review

Alternatives to the Skoda Scala

You’re spoiled for choice in this segment. The Ford Focus, Vauxhall Astra and Peugeot 308 are all readily available and good value. The latter card is also played by the Kia Ceed and Hyundai i30; both cars come with very good warranties, too. Plus, there’s the Scala’s big brother, the Skoda Octavia.

If reliability is your priority, the Honda Civic and Mazda 3 should fit the bill; the former has more carrying capacity than the class norm, while the latter feels more premium than many small family cars.

The Scala is related to the SEAT Leon and VW Golf; both are worth a look for their fine cabins and engines, including a plug-in hybrid. Toyota’s Corolla is also a hybrid (but not plug-in), with good reliability and quality.

What to look for

Accessories

A kick scooter was available through Skoda dealers. This 5kg, £120 option was designed to slot into the spare wheel well.

Trim levels

SE Technology carried a £400 premium over SE, but added £2,100 of kit – namely a 9.2-inch display, sat-nav, parking sensors and cruise control.

Towing

The 1.0 TSI 95 can tow 1,150kg, whereas the 1.0 TSI 110 is rated at 1,200kg. The 1.5 TSI and 1.6 TDI are both capable of pulling up to 1,250kg.

Spare wheel

Skoda calls it a space saver, but it isn’t really; the smallest wheels fitted to the Scala are 205/55 R16, and the spare wheel is a 195/60 R15 item.

Common faults

We know at least a few early Scalas had infotainment bugs, but dealer software updates should have been implemented on any affected cars by now. Otherwise, the Scala has an impressively clean bill of health – although of course, it hasn’t been on our roads for very long.

Prices

There are good numbers of Skoda Scalas for sale although you may struggle to find one with a diesel engine as petrol is much more popular. Likewise, one in three Scalas is an auto. Predictably, opting for a manual transmission will get you more car for your money and we found just two S-trim cars for sale, with SE accounting for half of the cars on the market.

To check prices on  a specific Skoda Scala model head over to our valuation tool

Interior

It’s easy to see straight away that this is a Volkswagen Group car, with the very clearly laid-out dashboard and a high standard of fit and finish. That’s true even on the cheaper editions, but buy a model from higher up the range and the ambience increases noticeably.

One of the Scala’s strong points is its cabin space, which is above average; there’s enough head and legroom for two adults in the back, and the doors open nice and wide to allow easy access. The boot capacity is every bit as impressive, with a whopping 467 litres available with the back seats up – more than in a VW Golf or Ford Focus – or 1,410 litres with them folded.

android, used skoda scala (mk1 2019 to date) review

Running costs

Scala owners can choose between fixed or flexible servicing regimes; the latter is set at the factory, but it can be changed. Whereas the flexible programme allows up to 18,600 miles between services, the fixed option sets the interval at 12 months or 9,300 miles.

For Scalas on the fixed scheme, the first service costs £175-£195 depending on engine, and the second service is £261-£310; from the third year, the prices alternate between £185 and £245. Scalas on the flexible programme have to have a £245 major service every time; this cost includes fresh brake fluid at every inspection, but on its own this is pegged at £65.

All Scala engines have a cambelt, which should be replaced every five years at a cost of £780. On diesels there’s a 130,000-mile cap for cambelt replacement, but there is no set limit for the petrol units.

Recalls

The Scala has been recalled on just one occasion so far. That was in November 2019 because of a fault with the e-call system, which could render it inoperable.

Just 99 cars were affected, all built in either August or September 2019. Not all of the cars recalled were Scalas, however, because some Kamiqs built in those two months were also affected; Skoda hasn’t disclosed the split between the two models, though.

Although Skoda claimed that some cars left the factory with faulty software installed, the solution was to replace an electronic control unit on all cars affected, rather than simply to perform an update. You can find out if any potential buy is the subject of an outstanding recall, by going to skoda-auto.com/services/recall-actions and typing in the VIN.

Driver Power owner satisfaction

The Scala hasn’t yet appeared in any of our Driver Power surveys, but Skodas have a habit of scoring impressively. The brand has had its fair share of top-20 places over the years; in the 2022 survey the Kodiaq was fifth, while the Karoq came 18th; the Mk3 Octavia (launched in 2013) came 66th, though. Interiors, value, quality, practicality and reliability are typical highlights.

Your view

Henry Sivite from Wrexham, Wales, owns a 2019 Scala 1.0 TSI 110 SE. He comments: “I’m not after thrill-a-minute driving. I want a car that’s easy to live with, and the Skoda is definitely that, with its roomy cabin, generous equipment and feeling of quality. It’s refined, quick enough, economical and has room for four in comfort. As such, it’s very easy to recommend.”

Head over to our sister site Buyacar to get a great deal on a used Skoda Scala…

Keyword: Used Skoda Scala (Mk1 2019 to date) review

CAR'S NEWS RELATED

2023 BYD Atto 3 launched in Malaysia, X70-size EV from RM150k

Sime Darby Motors, the official distributor of BYD in Malaysia has launched the BYD Atto 3 in two variants, with prices starting at RM149,800. The Atto 3 is an all-electric C -segment SUV with an electric driving range of up to 420 km. The two variants of the BYD ...

View more: 2023 BYD Atto 3 launched in Malaysia, X70-size EV from RM150k

BYD Atto 3 launched in Malaysia; priced from RM 150k, X50-sized EV SUV, up to 480 km range

Performance and range Dimensions, exterior, interior Safety features Aftersales and deliveries Months of spyshots and conversations come to a head today as the fully-imported (CBU China) 2022 has just been launched in Malaysia, making it the thus far in 2022. Prices start from RM 149,800 for the Standard variant, ...

View more: BYD Atto 3 launched in Malaysia; priced from RM 150k, X50-sized EV SUV, up to 480 km range

Sold my XUV 500 after 1.4L km & bought the Scorpio-N diesel MT

I managed to get a mileage of 24.5 kml on highway runs. BHPian BangaloreCarrer recently shared this with other enthusiasts. I am here with my first post with a User experience of my Scorpio-N that I took delivery of a couple of days ago. I hope that the review ...

View more: Sold my XUV 500 after 1.4L km & bought the Scorpio-N diesel MT

Only 2 Cars Outrank the 2023 Toyota Camry as U.S. News’ Best Midsize Car to Buy Right Now

2023 Honda Accord vs. 2023 Kia K5 vs. 2023 Toyota Camry: Performance and fuel economy 2023 Honda Accord vs. 2023 Kia K5 vs. 2023 Toyota Camry: Interior features 2023 Honda Accord vs. 2023 Kia K5 vs. 2023 Toyota Camry: Driver assistance equipment Which midsize sedan is worth buying? The ...

View more: Only 2 Cars Outrank the 2023 Toyota Camry as U.S. News’ Best Midsize Car to Buy Right Now

Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV Aspire 2022 long term review

With many Australians still wary of going all-in on a pricey and unfamiliar electric vehicle, is the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV actually a strike of brilliance?

View more: Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV Aspire 2022 long term review

Tested: 2023 Volvo XC40 B5 Combines Cuteness and Competence

The Volvo XC40 is the exact type of vehicle everyone seems to want these days. Tall, boxy, stylish, and comfortable, the XC40 is one of the most charming iterations of the subcompact-luxury-crossover formula. We’ve liked it quite a bit since it first arrived for 2019, and several updates for 2023 ...

View more: Tested: 2023 Volvo XC40 B5 Combines Cuteness and Competence

Only 2 New 2023 Pickup Trucks Start Under $26K

The 2023 Hyundai Santa Cruz is an affordable small truck The 2023 Ford Maverick is incredibly affordable America is ready for small pickup trucks Pickup trucks are gradually getting more affordable as new models are rolled out. The midsize pickup truck segment is expanding. Many small pickup trucks have ...

View more: Only 2 New 2023 Pickup Trucks Start Under $26K

The Entry Level 2023 Toyota Tacoma Is Surprisingly Cheap

How much does the 2023 Toyota Tacoma cost? What comes standard with the Toyota Tacoma SR? Is the 2023 Toyota Tacoma worth buying? If you want to save a little, then consider the Toyota Tacoma. It has the lowest starting price out of every mid-size truck available. It’s even ...

View more: The Entry Level 2023 Toyota Tacoma Is Surprisingly Cheap

Volkswagen Amarok (2023) review: Bigger, posher, Ford-ier

All-new Peugeot 3008 spied ahead of 2023 launch

Renault and Waze collaborate in car industry first

2023 Toyota Kluger 2.4 turbo petrol announced in Australia

1 Genesis SUV Is Newly Recommended By Consumer Reports

Updated Suzuki S-Presso now available – The most affordable car in South Africa

Millennial Mom's Review: 2023 Toyota Camry Hybrid

Review: Toyota Harrier 2.0L Luxury - No turbo? no problem

Everything you need to know about the Ford Ranger

Installing a TPMS on my 7-year-old Renault Duster for just Rs 6400

All-new 2022 Subaru WRX in Malaysia - 'Impreza' estimated to start from RM 285k; 275 PS, EyeSight

Flagship Chery Tiggo 8 Pro Max launches in SA

OTHER CAR NEWS

;
Breaking thailand news, thai news, thailand news Verified News Story Network